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COSWAY, Maria Hadfield (1759--1838)
Gallery of the Louvre, represented by etchings executed solely by Mrs. Maria Cosway, with an historical and critical description of all the pictures which compose this superb collection, and a biographical sketch of the life of each painter, by J. Griffiths, Esqre, member of the Philotechnic Society, etc. etc., of Paris.
Paris: printed for the author, 1802.
[4], iv, 50 p., 7 etch pl. ; 60.1 cm. (1°)

The Old Master pictures looted by Napoleon's armies and arranged by Dominique Vivant Denon in the Musée Central based in the Louvre were copied and etched by Maria Cosway between 1801 and 1803. Julius Griffiths was author of the text and proprietor of the work which was 'Déposé à la Bibliothèque Nationale en Ventose An 10' i.e. February/March 1802 (pl. 1 imprint line). Issued in parts of two plates each (three in the first number) with a parallel text in French and English. According to the prospectus issued in March 1802 (q.v.), the London agent was Colnaghi and the price to subscribers was £1 5s. per number with coloured etchings, or 15s. plain; and the price to non-subscribers £1 11s. 6d. coloured and 1 guinea plain. Seven plates were published in three parts before the scheme was curtailed by the resumption of hostilities between France and Britain, and also apparently by Cosway's disillusionment with her business partner. See Stephen Lloyd, Richard & Maria Cosway, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 1995, pp. 89-90.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Hand-coloured copy with the printed part wrappers, half-title, and title page in English; the upper wrapper reading 'Gallery Of The Louvre, By J. Griffiths, Esqre, Member Of The Philotechnic Society, etc. etc. Of Paris. First (--Third) Number.' and the lower with the contents of the next number, both within decorative frames. Soane subscribed to the coloured copy and received the first number on 6 July 1802 (Jnl 4 p. 408) from Dr. Francis Bidou who on the evidence of a new prospectus issued after completion of the first number (q.v.) replaced Colnaghi as the agent for the work; the second and third numbers were received on 18 September 1802 and 24 February 1803 respectively (Jnl 4, pp. 411, 428). The price of each number was £1. 5s.
Copy 2: With plates 8 and 9 and 1 unnumbered plate before letters intended for a fourth part. Retaining the upper brown paper wrapper of the first part only, reading 'Galerie Du Louvre, Par J. Griffiths, Ecuyer, Membre ... A Paris. Premier Numero.' enclosed in a decorative frame. Bound (2) with Carlo Labruzzi, Via Appia illustrata, [1794] (q.v., copy 2). Inscribed in ink on half-title À Monsieur Athanase Lavallée / Comme marque d'attachement et de / la part de l'auteur/ Julius Griffiths / 1° Messidor An X (i.e. June 1802). Pasted down on the half-title is a printed bookseller's ticket reading 'Se Vend chez Rouanet, Libraire, Rue Verdelet, No. 6, près la Poste aux lettres, A Paris.' Pasted down on rear pastedown a manuscript note by Julius Griffiths on brown paper Monsieur Athanase Lavallée / Secretaire du Museum Centre / de la part, et comme temoignage / de l'amitié de l'auteur / Julius Griffiths.

Binding Copy 1: The three numbers stitched together retaining the original early C19th brown paper wrappers to all three numbers (see copy notes above).
Copy 2: C19th blue paper boards, white paper spine lettered in ink 'Views on the Appian Way, La Gallerie du Louvre'.

Reference Number 6468


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